24 September 2010

How going to Phuket saved my sanity

By Sheila

I had a truly horrible experience a few weeks ago. I went out for a few hours on Monday night and came home to find my house was ransacked. The burglars took everything of value, plus all the cash I had just withdrawn that day, a couple of hundred dollars worth of Thai baht to pay various bills I owed.

I lost two new laptops, my Nikon dSLR and my Canon point-and-shoot which was a Christmas present from my partner. They also took away my feeling that my house was a safe place, somewhere to be happy to come home to. It was truly a massive shock – being burgled was something I never dreamed would actually happen to me. I still can’t believe I walked in on a scene of total chaos, with all the drawers pulled out and all of our stuff rifled through. I still feel sick at the thought that people broke in and went through my stuff like that!

I just moved to Thailand half a year ago and my family already worry so much about me being here, far away from them. Of course, the main thing is that I wasn’t hurt. But what if I had stumbled in on where the burglars were hiding, probably in the bathroom downstairs? It could have been so much worse! Thinking about all of this, I found it very hard to sleep that night, as well as the following nights. I was so shaken and I still had to go to work every day that week. It was a real struggle.

Thankfully, in an AirAsia sale many months back, we had booked tickets to Phuket, and we were due to leave a few days later on the Thursday morning. The purpose of the trip was to join one of my oldest friends who I have known now for half my life — and along with his wife and two little girls, we were all going to celebrate his 30th birthday. We flew with AirAsia from Chiang Mai, and they flew with AirAsia from Singapore. Phuket was half-way between where we all lived.

And if there was ever a time in my life where a beautiful beach holiday was needed, as well as the comfort of good friends, this was it…so during a week where I had one of the worst experiences of my life, I went on to having one of the best experiences of my life. The trip was perfectly timed.


We stayed at a resort on Phuket’s Nai Yang beach and it was the perfect place to recover from the trauma of what happened. Having a change of scene and being by the sea was just what I needed to soothe my frazzled nerves before coming back home to Chiang Mai with new resolve. The Andaman Sea was so warm and relaxing, and I felt so safe lying there in the water, thousands of kilometres away from where the burglary had occurred. After the trauma I had experienced, being in Phuket really saved my sanity. My partner said that seeing how happy I was in Phuket gave him hope that I would be happy again. So those flights taking me away from Chiang Mai for a few days meant so much to me during that difficult time.

So thanks a million AirAsia for your airfare sale and for the direct flight to Phuket from Chiang Mai, which made it very easy for us to get there. I can honestly say that the four day trip to Phuket really changed my life, and helped me feel that even though bad things happen, there is so much about my life to be happy about. Plus all the better things to come!